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Stephane Lafortune

Professor Stephane Lafortune


Canadian Adds Math Clout to C of C By Jenna M. Bradley

Professor Stephane Lafortune has gone above and beyond normal accomplishments with applied mathematics. He has showed that he has the determination and education needed to be successful in life. Lafortune was born and raised in Quebec, Canada. In Canada, he learned to speak both English and French, and before leaving high school he developed a strong interest in mathematics and science.

Currently, Lafortune is reaping the benefits of his intense education during the 1990s. During this decade he would earn a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Sherbrooke and a master's and doctorate in physics from the University of Montreal.

His doctorate is a joint degree from the University of Paris VII. He also holds a minor degree in mathematics.

After all his schooling, Lafortune would cross the border into the United States where he began a post-doctorate fellowship at the University of Arizona, where he would become an assistant professor. In 2002, he was also selected as a finalist for the Excellence in Teaching Award at Arizona. In 2004, Lafortune left Tuscon for Charleston.

He decided to come to Charleston because he needed "a job change." Here at
C of C he taught three sections of college algebra. He said this was "quite an experience because not all students want to learn mathematics." He now also teaches a course called Ordinary Differential Equations.

Lafortune is an active researcher. His grants and awards have included the College of Charleston Faculty Research and Development Award and he has received funding from the National Science Foundation for research and travel involving C of C students.

He has two specific areas of interest that he hopes to connect: first, the Theory of
Integrability and second, the symmetry analysis of non-linear evolution equations. He has a strong interest in publishing articles and enjoys applied mathematics. "Applied mathematics is for people like me who like to solve mathematical problems arising in physics or other fields of science,"he said.

Since beginning his career track in 1990, Lafortune has published 25 articles. And with titles such as the one he recently published, the topics are not for the average person. "Spectral Stability of local deformation of an elastic rod: Hamiltonian Formalism" was published in 2005 in the SIAM journal of Mathematical Analysis. SIAM stands for the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

If you're looking to meet Stephane Lafortune personally it will be hard to catch him because he is always busy. When Lafortune is not researching or teaching, you may find him at the Charleston Ice Palace playing ice hockey in a league. And math students, if you're lucky, maybe you will be one of the few students researching with Lafortune over the summer.